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Death by Didgeridoo… a book review

Ok ok, after doing a MAJOR 3 month unit on Australia with the kids and learning about all things Down Under I could not resist this novella based strictly on the title. Death by Didgeridoo is the first book in the Jamie Quinn Mystery series by Barbara Venkataraman and has nothing else to do with Australia than the instrument being, well, instrumental in the murder. (bad bad I know).

I will say right off the bat… in the book no one knows what a Didgeridoo is, well I am telling you EVERYONE in this house knows what one is! For those who don’t, HERE is the Wikipedia page for you to catch up on! Anyway…

I found this novella interesting as the main character – Jamie Quinn, a rather reluctant but proficient family court lawyer is called up by her aunt to come support her nephew who has stumbled upon a murder and is now a suspect. What is interesting is that the nephew is a grown adult who has Asperger Syndrome. This throws the wrench in things as he is unable, at first, to explain what he saw and rationalize that he was not truly involved in the murder.

Jamie is determined to help, calls upon her friend (also a lawyer but in a different division) for help, calls up an IOU on a rather interesting detective and works with the court appointed defense lawyer to ensure that her nephew is not falsely arrested.

The mystery is intriguing, and Jamie gives us little insights about her personality as SHE thinks they are relevant, so you do get to know her as the story goes on. I found this a quick and fun read, it felt like you were sitting with Jamie as she recounted an event that was interesting and exciting in her life.

While not a book SET in Australia, the murder weapon IS unique and the author tells a wonderful story, so if this interests you do give it a read!21899943

Dying to Read… a Book Review

It is unusual to come across a humorous cozy murder mystery with a dash of romance which ALSO includes a faith element, but Dying to Read by Lorena McCourtney does just that. This book does not delve deeply into the faith idea, though the main character is rather faith driven. She is concerned about the possibility of others finding peace through prayer, praying for others and things she is going to do. There is discussion of going to church at multiple times through out the book. 

Don’t get me wrong, there is a definite murder mystery, definitely some romance and a bit of humour too. There is even some tension as the entire thing is wrapped up. Dying to Read is the first book in The Cate KinKaid Files. Cate is working for her PI uncle as she is in between jobs, without a social life and experiencing what is one of the worst hair cuts possible. Everything blows up in her face when she takes on the job of determining if a specific woman lives at a specific address. From then on in it is all murder, confusion, and unique characters.

I found this book to be a fun and eventful read. A full novel at 321 pages it actually was a book you could sink your teeth in and a nice change after all of the novellas I have been coming across lately. I found that I did not solve the mystery too quickly, and even better some of the CHARACTERS were mysteries too! 

Cate made me giggle and the book club ladies (seriously you have to read this to truly get a look at all the characters) added some spice and silly to the mix. The hunky man was a bit of a mystery wrapped in kindness and good timing and the ending was just as enjoyable as the middle and the beginning. I seriously hope the following books in the series are just as enjoyable and hope to find out myself! (In writing up this review I realize I HAVE read something else by this author and reviewed it, AND enjoyed it… check that out HERE)12963166

Spotless Murder… a Book Review

Sometimes all you have time for is a quick novella. And that was what I had this past afternoon… an hour of free time between kids and the YMCA trip. So I picked up a freebie and started reading. Spotless Murder is the third book in the Sophia O’Malley Cozy Mysteru series by Natalie Woodley and Angela Arganoff. I have not read the previous two books but the beginning of the story cleared up enough that I really felt like I was not missing out on a huge plot twist or something. (This was a one day freebie on Amazon)

This book is definitely a shorter read. Your prospective is not limited to a main character as the story scoots along showing all of them equally. You do learn a bit about the three main ones – Sophia who runs a business called the Travelling Organizer where she does just that, her new employee Mattie (though you don’t learn too much about her) and a character new to the series – Paul who works for the chain that employed the ladies and sent them to Hawaii for their newest murder mystery. 

The end of the book includes some Hawaiian recipes and some travel and organization tips. The murder itself is interesting, the solution rather intriguing and the pace a nice quick trot on through. I don’t try to solve these myself so cannot speak to that, but I really enjoyed following along as the characters work with law officials to solve the case. 

Add to the mystery, the organization, the exotic setting just a touch of romance, a little nostalgia and a sweet goodbye to a love now gone and you have a novella to pick up and enjoy in a single sitting. I would totally rec commend this contemporary cozy for a quiet hour. And once my book budget goes up from, well, zero… I may just read and review the previous books! 28481637